On Tuesday, the House of Representatives gave last approbation to the HIV Organ Policy Equity (Hope) Act, a charge that will close a 25-year boycott on utilizing HIV-positive people’s organs for any reason, including medical research.
In the event that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) infers that transplanting organs between HIV-positive Americans is protected and successful under investigative guidelines set by the law, such transplants will be legalized, giving HIV-positive Americans the chance to donate their organs to other HIV-positive recipients. President Barack Obama is required to sign the enactment into law. And it’s widely expected that Obama will do so.
Thanks and credit is given to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) and Tom Coburn (R-Ok), who initially presented the Hope Act in the Senate.
“Our scientific understanding of AIDS is much better than when this research ban was established,” notes Coburn.
As success continues to appear, allowing those living with HIV to have a near-normal life span, certain conditions requiring liver and kidney transplants, for example, did not allow those organs to be used from an HIV-positive individual. Now the pool of potential organs available for transplant increases.
More than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and more than 700,000 Americans are on organ transplant waiting lists– including HIV-positive individuals.
From Josh Robbins, blogger & HIV Positive Activist:
“I applaud and thank the leaders of this bill, on first recognizing how one ban in a long list of suppressive laws need to be updated or tossed, that affect those of us living with HIV. By allowing HIV-positive organ donations to other HIV-positive recipients, we now have even more assurance and support to keep living, well. As proud I am today about this change to an unfair law, I remained focused and determined, now more than ever, to continue to see that other unfair and archaic laws based on outdated research and scare tactics are also corrected– including HIV criminalization laws and the unfair burden of proof placed on those of us living with HIV. Celebration may be short, but gratitude and determination are plenty.”